ItemWest Point Journal of Politics and Security, Volume 1 Issue 1 (Fall 2021)(West Point Press, 2021) Editing TeamThe West Point Journal of Politics and Security (WPJPS) is an undergraduate journal based in the Department of Social Sciences at the U.S. Military Academy (West Point). Published annually online and in print, it aims to be the premiere publication in the United States for undergraduate research on topics germane to U.S. and international political and security interests, broadly defined. To that end, the journal welcomes innovative undergraduate research primarily situated in political science and security studies, but extending into economics, history, and sociology. ItemFront Matter(West Point Press, 2021) Editing TeamLetter from the Editors: "We are pleased to introduce the inaugural edition of the West Point Journal of Politics and Security (WPJPS). WPJPS is an undergraduate journal based in the Department of Social Sciences at the U.S. Military Academy (West Point). Published annually online and in print, it aims to be the premiere publication in the United States for undergraduate research on topics germane to U.S. and international political and security interests, broadly defined. To that end, WPJPS aims to showcase innovative undergraduate research from West Point and non-West Point undergraduates, primarily situated in political science and security studies, but extending into economics, history, sociology, and area studies..." ItemThe First International Crisis Of Artificial Intelligence: Imagining Scenarios And Responses(West Point Press, 2021) Cohen, Shira E.With the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), a new but underdeveloped literature has emerged to investigate how AI might impact international conflicts. Just how, this article asks, might the first international AI crises occur, and how might international actors respond to avoid catastrophe? After examining existing literature, this piece argues that the three major applications of AI in military systems that may lead to international crises include: AI-enabled autonomous weapons systems, AI-enabled nuclear weapons systems, and AI-enabled cyber weapons. While it is impossible to pinpoint one scenario or even one type of application that will cause the first international AI crisis, this article draws on the model of the “Doomsday Clock” (maintained since 1947 by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists) to help give coherence to possible outcomes and responses. At its core, this article proposes a new model for early warning signs of an impending AI crisis— what it calls, the “AI Doomsday Clock”—which intends to offer a tool to decision-makers that will provide awareness of the early signs of an international crisis in AI, before developing into a potentially disastrous international crisis. ItemAssessing The Effectiveness Of Leadership Decapitation As A U.S. Counterterrorism Strategy: The Case Of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani’s Death By Drone Strike(West Point Press, 2021) Ali, Zainub R.Following the January 2020 killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force Major General Qassem Soleimani by a U.S. drone strike, it is paramount to examine the effectiveness of leadership decapitation as a counterterrorism strategy employed by the United States. This paper explores the effectiveness of leadership decapitation via drone strikes by analyzing the case study of Soleimani’s killing and its impact on the Quds Force, and its continued operations, along with Iran’s support of proxy groups across the region and desire to become a regional hegemon. Within this article, I first discuss the specifics of Soleimani’s death, the history of drones and their use in counterterrorism, and the socio-political implications of drone proliferation. Taking into consideration prior research, I apply the charismatic leadership framework offered by Michael Freeman (2010) to Soleimani, highlighting his role in Iran and the Quds Force. Leveraging Jenna Jordan’s (2014) theory of organizational resilience, I argue that after Soleimani’s death, the Quds Force is likely to survive, grow, and potentially retaliate due to the high level of bureaucracy and communal support maintained by the organization. Overall, this paper highlights the limited effectiveness of leadership decapitation when factors such as bureaucratization and communal support are strongly established. ItemAn Apathetic Public: How Dubik’s Legitimacy Principle Applies To A Disengaged Citizenry(West Point Press, 2021) Bauer, ReedIn his book Just War Reconsidered: Strategy, Ethics and Theory, LTG(R) James M. Dubik lays out the standards a country must meet for a war to be considered “legitimate.” Primary among these standards is that a nation must have the support of its populace if it is to begin, and continue, fighting a war. However, Dubik’s book does not address the case of when a public is “apathetic,” “ignorant,” or “misled” as to the state of a war. Using case studies from the United States’ engagement in various international conflicts, this article discusses Dubik’s Principle of Legitimacy and how it is challenged by the three publics above. Taking an acute focus on “apathetic” publics, this article argues that in these cases, the government has a moral obligation to provide relevant, timely information and to incentivize citizenry to engage with the war (that is, to understand its origins and consequences) or else withdraw from it entirely. Practical steps toward encouraging citizen engagement include making winning the war the government’s primary priority, increasing communication about the status of the war, and as a last resort, moving toward a conscription army. If the public does not become engaged, then it is the duty of a government to end the war as quickly as possible. ItemShifting Geostrategic Interests As Determinants Of Foreign Aid: Has The Era Of Threats From Great Power Competition Eclipsed The Era Of Threats From Violent Non-State Actors(West Point Press, 2021) Isaac, JonahForeign assistance is intended to reflect a state’s geostrategic interests; thus, it is reasonable to assume that donor states target aid to countries in which their interests are most threatened. In practice, do countries offering foreign aid direct it to places in which their geostrategic interests are most threatened? To investigate this question, this article explores the extent to which the United States’ foreign aid flows are in line with its national security doctrines related to mitigating the ascendance of China (Era of Threats from Great Power Competition) on one hand, and international terrorism (Era of Threats from Violent Non-State Actors) on the other. Using a time-series, cross-sectional design that utilizes data regarding U.S. foreign assistance disbursements to Africa, casualties from African terrorist attacks, and Chinese investment in Africa, this article shows that U.S. interests do not align in these two realms: although competition with China and threats of international terrorism are both noted as U.S. geostrategic priorities, neither Chinese investment nor deaths by terrorism are correlated with increased U.S. foreign aid flows. These findings suggest that contrary to intuition, foreign aid allocation does not appear to reflect the United States’ prioritization of its geostrategic interests. ItemInnocent Blood: The Struggle Of Small Neutrals To Preserve Their Neutrality In Wartime(West Point Press, 2021) Bollt, AdamWhy strong states may choose paths toward war is widely studied, but less powerful states have far less agency over their fates when it comes to involvement in conflicts. The truth is, war between major powers threatens with great devastation and sorrow even those countries who have no direct stake in the conflict. Yet, although small neutral states are often dragged into wars between powerful countries, not all are. What factors pull these “small neutrals” into wars sometimes and allow them to avoid wars at other times? By mining existing scholarship concerning small states and the spread of wars, this article delineates eight unique factors situated across three levels of analysis assumed to determine the ability of small neutrals to avoid getting dragged into larger states’ wars. However, seeing a gap in the literature, this article argues that a ninth phenomenon should be added to this list: how individuals within large states are critical to the fates of the small neutrals. The perspective of one individual in a large state may lead to war for a small state, whereas the perspective of another may lead to peace. Through a case study, this article demonstrates how large states’ leaders each uniquely understand the interaction of all of the variables confronting them, a fact that spared neutral Belgium in 1870 from a Franco-German war and doomed it to another in 1914. ItemStates, Canals, And Conflict: How Artificial Structures Influence Political Violence(West Point Press, 2021) Brooks, GraceWhat is the impact of artificial structural factors (ASF) on political violence within a state? How do ASFs, specifically in the form of canals in Panama and Egypt, influence levels of political violence? This question is especially important to study given that some ASFs can be a critical part of global commerce or interlinkages. More importantly, when one structure dominates a significant portion of a state’s economy, there needs to be considerable exploration of how it can affect state behavior. Through a comparative historical analysis of Panama and Egypt, this study explores how a state’s decisions to negotiate with regards to their artificial structures either exacerbates or mitigates political violence. In my analysis, I show how Panama and Egypt’s divergent decisions on whether to negotiate peacefully or not on behalf of their canals—a significant artificial structure—influenced levels of political violence within the two states. Panama chose to negotiate and experienced reduced levels of political violence, while Egypt acted unilaterally and did continued to experience political violence. Ultimately, I find that traditional indicators of political violence—ethnicity, colonial legacy, and non-artificial structures—do not sufficiently explain violence levels within a state. While their ASFs are not the only cause, political violence in states like Panama and Egypt cannot be fully understood without exploring how their canals influence state behavior. This research paves the way for future research that identifies the specific types of artificial structures that warrant particular attention and shape state behavior and political violence.